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Woman sentenced for assisting escape to Mexico

The woman who helped her boyfriend flee to Mexico after he was released to donate a kidney to his ailing son has been sentenced to time served and three years' supervised release, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Kentucky announced.

Lea Ann Howard, 36, formerly of Harrodsburg, pleaded guilty in May to helping Byron Perkins escape jail. Perkins had been released on $10,000 bond in January 2006 but failed to show up for compatibility tests to see whether he could donate a kidney to his son Destin. Perkins had been in the Oldham County Jail awaiting sentencing for marijuana distribution and unlawful transport of firearms, charges filed while he was serving a supervised release from a North Carolina sentence for bank robbery.

Howard and Perkins were arrested in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 15 months after escaping. Destin eventually received a kidney from an anonymous donor.